Nike Unveils New NFL Uniforms With Minor Changes To All But Seahawks GarbPublished April 4, 2012
SEAHAWKS STAND OUT: In Seattle, Danny O’Neil reports no team "got an overhaul quite like Seattle's -- from the uniform's design to the two-toned helmet to the renovated logo with a gray stripe behind the bird's head.” The overhaul of the Seahawks' uniform was “extensive and went so far as to include a third, alternate jersey, which is gray.” Neon green is also incorporated “from the piping down the side of the pants, to the shoulders and collar.” The team's last uniform overhaul was ‘02, when the Seahawks “underwent a makeover before moving into their new outdoor stadium.” The Nike uniforms are “so different no one will mistake them for any other team” (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/4). The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s John Kell notes the Seahawks’ uniform “incorporates cultural elements of the Northwest, including horizontal graphics representing the thunderbird totem and colors inspired by the region's environment.” On the pants, “12 winged icons down the side reference the 12th man, a tribute to the team's fans” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/4). A Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE poll found that 65% of fans “voted in favor” of the Seahawks’ new uniform. Seahawks CB Richard Sherman said, “I was pretty impressed. I like how innovative Nike is, creative with their designs. I think more teams should have switched it up and tried something new” (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/4). Packers TE Jermichael Finley said, “The Seahawks got some bangin' suits, and Nike did really well with them. I can't wait until everybody steps out with the new unis this year" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/3). NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus wrote it is “practically a personality change for the 36-year-old franchise.” The “sharp left turn perhaps makes sense when you remember the Seahawks are in the backyard of Nike, which is based in nearby Beaverton, Ore." (NFL.com, 4/3). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "Nike can’t change things like the Bears and the Giants and the Redskins; you can’t touch those. You’ve got to play around with new-fangled things like Seattle. They’re ‘dayglo’ but they’re alright” (“PTI,” ESPN, 4/3). Meanwhile, in Portland, Allan Brettman reports Oregon-based Hydro Graphics “produced the helmets for the Seahawks.” HGI Owner Chris Thom said that his company “was prepared to do anything radical that the team desired ... but the team opted for a more muted approach” (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/4).
home jersey color
IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS: USA TODAY’s Michael McCarthy writes the new uniforms “focus on lighter fabrics, more contoured fits and four-way stretch materials on the inside rather than big design changes on the outside.” Nike President & CEO Mark Parker said that the uniforms “were 20% to 30% lighter than the Reebok versions players wore last season.” There is also “padding built into parts of the jerseys and pants.” Giants WR Victor Cruz said that the “more form-fitting uniforms should help him better elude tacklers” (USA TODAY, 4/4). Bills S George Wilson said, "I love them. ... The materials used, the innovations from Nike, from the changes in the collar where the jersey won't rise up and down on you like the old ones used to. It’s more fitted in the shoulders which gives you a lot more range of motion and a lot less restrictive than the past uniforms. Then there’s a ventilation system that runs through the side of the jersey all the way to the pants and even in your base layer you wear underneath your uniform. You can see that Nike has been putting a lot of time, a lot of effort into these uniforms the past five years" ("NBC Sports Talk," NBC Sports Network, 4/3). Seattle S Kam Chancellor said that he “loves the new designs, but enjoys the cut and fit even better.” Chancellor: "The shrink-wrap fit, we can move our body around. We can move and be free." Bears LB Brian Urlacher said it will be "harder to get held, which is good since I get held on every play" (SI.com, 4/3). Patriots WR Wes Welker said, “Being able to move my arms a little better, there is not as much tightness, a little more flexibility as far as that goes” (BOSTON HERALD, 4/4). Urlacher, a Nike endorser, said, “I love the sideline gear. I didn’t like Reebok’s. It’s nice to wear stuff that looks good” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/4).
PLAYER PERSUASION: While football purists “may be breathing sighs of relief that most jerseys did not undergo significant change, the same cannot be said for some of the players.” Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount, a Univ. of Oregon alum and Nike endorser, said, "Make it Oregon Duck-like. They're always updating, always above and beyond everybody with the fashion statement. (The Tampa Bay uniforms should have) some 'highlighter red' or something. Some glow-in-the-dark red or something. We've got one of the youngest teams in the NFL, so we gotta be trendy." Finley said, "The Packers don't change things too often. But as a player, I'd love to see it" (Alan Brettman, Portland OREGONIAN, 4/4). Click a thumbnail below to view a slideshow of the uniforms.
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